Holistic Nursing Services

Freddie WindRiver, Licensed Nurse                                                     Shutesbury, MA  (413) 259-1416 

Holistic Nursing Services

Colon Hydrotherapy

Getting a colonic

Taking a Sauna

Giving yourself an enema


What to Expect - Having a Colonic

    Please note that this section describes the steps I take in my practice. Other therapists will differ.

    The first time you have Colonic Irrigation with me, even if you have had this therapy with others, we must include registration, discussing your history, a brief physical exam, and orientation to my entire process. This usually requires about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Each subsequent visit will last approximately an hour.

    1. Registration: When you enter my therapy room for the first time, we will sit down for a comfortable chat. I will record your name, address, telephone numbers, and the name of a doctor who knows you.  I will ask several questions about your medical, diet, exercise, and elimination history, what treatments you have tried for your various health problems, and whether they have improved your health. We will then decide together where you fit on my sliding scale.

    2. Bathroom preparation: You will go into my bathroom to empty your bladder, drink a little water if you are dehydrated, remove the clothing from your waist down (except socks in the winter), and wrap a towel-sized drape around your waist for privacy. There are hooks and surfaces for storing your clothing. Be sure to let me know if you need or would enjoy more warmth; I can provide a blanket, turn up my heater, or offer leg warmers.

    3. Lie on my examination table: I will help you onto my sheet-draped table where you will lie on your back with your head on a pillow. You may keep your glasses on or remove them. You may choose to listen to music provided by me, or something you have brought on CD, or experience silence during your colonic. Be sure to tell me your preference. I will give you a few moments of quiet to become relaxed and centered, and will then massage several reflex points on your hands, arms, chest, and abdomen that will help your colon release its waste; hopefully this will also help you relax, your most important task during a colonic.

    There are similar reflex points on your feet. I do not massage them for reasons of sanitation, but you may choose to massage them yourself just before your appointment with me.

    Then you will turn onto your side, facing away from me, and I will massage your back and buttocks. I will do a rectal examination (which should only be done by a licensed health care professional) to determine the anatomy of your particular colon. Each person is unique; I can care for you better when I ascertain the length and direction of your rectum, and whether and where you have hemorrhoids or fissures. I then apply lubricant both to your rectal sphincter and the colonic speculum.

    4. Insertion of Colonic Speculum: Your personal, pre-sterilized, disposable equipment is packaged individually to prevent any possibility of cross-contamination with other clients. There are two shapes of speculli from which to choose; if one feels uncomfortable, let me know and we will substitute the other. I depend on your feedback for every step of the process. 

     You will lie on your left side while the plastic speculum is inserted into your rectum very slowly. It is a smooth straight tube the length of your rectum, and about the diameter of your thumb. On your first colonic, it may feel very large. However, your rectal sphincter is similarly stretched whenever you are relaxed enough to have a sizable defecation. The speculum and the waste tube are both about an inch in diameter, an adequate size to accommodate most fecal waste. Your rectal muscle is not used to something moving into it from the opposite direction! However, you will soon become accustomed to it, and you will find it more natural.

    The central core of the speculum, that eases its insertion, is removed to permit the flow of water, and an output tube that will lie on the table with you, along with the intake tube, is connected to the speculum. You will feel a slight movement of the speculum as this tube is connected. 

    5. Anatomy of a Colonic: You will feel a mild sensation of colonic water flowing from the rectum in the middle of your abdomen around the Sigmoid S-cruve in the lower-left corner and up the Descending colon along the left side of your abdomen. Water then flows around the Spenic Flexure under your left ribs, across the Transverse Colon, around the Hepatic Flexure under your right ribs, and finally down the Ascending Colon on the right side of the abdomen. The Caecum in the lower right corner of your abdomen is the furthest point in your colon that water can be flushed during a colonic, and it will take several “fills” before it gets that far. I have developed a simple procedure for determining how much of the colon is infused with water during a Colonic. If you wonder if your entire colon is filled with water, and therefore being cleansed, please ask me to make this determination.

     The parts of the colon are named for the direction waste flows from the small intestine where digestion and assimilation take place, through the Ileocecal Valve, and into the Ascending portion of the Colon. This, of course, is opposite to the direction water flows in during a colonic. At the furthest end of the colon, below that Valve, is a “cul de sac” called the Caecum where waste can collect and create an infection in a vestigial (no longer useful) organ there known as the Appendix. For those clients who have been too constipated for too long for the first colonic to cleanse the entire colon, a series of colonics along with a special diet will eventually assure that the water will wash out these furthest corners of the colon and reduce the risk of your ever developing appendicitis. (I did not list appendicitis as one of the conditions that can be helped by a colonic, because, once the appendix becomes infected, a colonic could be life-threatening. At that stage, surgery is usually required.)

    6. How a Colonic feels: A Colonic is administered in a reclining or semi-reclining position on a comfortably padded table. Most Colonics are quite comfortable, and most people adjust within a few minutes to the inserted speculum. The water enters in a slow trickle delivered to the speculum in your rectum by way of the delivery tube; at first you will notice primarily its temperature. Often the water will be cool and first, and warm gradually, just as does the water from any warm faucet. Every machine includes both pressure and temperature gauges, so you can trust that I will instill only a safe amount of water.

    The time period when the water is trickling in is called a ‘fill.’ Each fill will last from several seconds to a couple of minutes depending on your individual tolerance, and on when your internal waste is ready to be released. When you need to empty, you will feel a fullness in your abdomen much like the way you feel when you need to go to the bathroom, and I will ask you to say “Empty!” at that very moment. I will open the drain, and the pressure will be relieved immediately. Waste will pass out though the speculum, and the attached drain tube, through the machine’s lighted viewing tube, and down into the sewer pipes into my septic field. During this entire process you will lie still and relaxed on the table.

    After one fill and release on your left side, you will turn onto your back where this process of “fill” and “release” will be repeated many times during one colonic, which will probably cleanse your entire colon.

    Many colon hydrotherapists make the decision about how much water to instill into your colon during the fill cycle. I recommend that you take personal control of this process. If a therapist gives you a little more water than is comfortable, you will become tense, and tension interferes with the cleansing process.

    Because it will assist your ability to relax, I prefer you tell me when you feel “full”. As soon as you tell me you feel full, I will immediately open the drain and the water and waste will begin to flow out through the colonic equipment without your moving off the table. Your job will be to lie still and relax! This way, you will stay more relaxed, and your entire colonic will more effectively wash out your excess waste.

    I will also introduce a small amount of water during the release cycle to assist washing away your waste. If you agree, I may also gently "jostle" the column of water by agitating the tube with my hand to creating a cleansing turbulence called "backflushing" that further helps loosen waste. I will let you experience this process so we can decide together whether you tolerate it adequately. A higher priority is relaxation. If you can remain relaxed while I am jostling the column of water, doing so will improve the effectiveness of your colonic. If it is uncomfortable enough to make you tense, it will not be worthwhile.

      I will also suggest alternating the temperature of the water from warm to cool, which encourages waste to loosen, if you tolerate it. If cool water creates a spasm, which I will see and you may feel, it is not worth using it.

    7. What gets eliminated: During the release cycle, I will watch your waste as it passes through a lighted tube in my machine; the components are much more visible there than they are in a toilet bowel. Usually waste is eliminated as small pieces of feces in clear water. Sometimes it looks like a bowel movement, indicating constipation. Other times it includes very fine particles like sand, or larger firm pieces like pebbles, often referred to as “old waste”, which is waste that has spent more time in your “dehydrating” colon. Until research is done on colonic irrigation, I know of no way to determine precisely how old this “old” waste really is, except that more solid and compacted waste is obviously older than soft waste. Mucous or parasites may be discharged and viewed through the waste tube. This information can be valuable for determining the cause of elimination problems.

     Most of my clients prefer to let me report to them what I see being eliminated. You can choose whether you want to remain relaxed with your eyes closed, or whether you prefer to watch your waste yourself. Looking at it may help motivate you to better health habits. If you want to see your waste, ask me to position the table so this is possible before I insert the speculum. If being able to see your waste requires that your head be elevated, or creates tension for you, it is not worthwhile.

    8. Completing the process: When we both decide your colonic is finished, you will turn back onto your left side and I will remove the equipment. Because of your reclining position, some of the water and loosened waste will remain inside after your colonic. You will sit on the toilet for a few minutes, allowing the remainder of the water and waste to be released, wash up if you feel the need to, and dress.

    When you return to the therapy room, we will discuss the process, how you feel, and any questions you may not have asked. We will decide together if you should make another appointment. You are welcome to call me at any later time about your experiences during or after your colonic.

    9. Less Common Experiences: A few clients experience discomfort during a first colonic; not all do. Usually this discomfort is transformed by familiarity and deeper relaxation; you can ask me to help you with this. Until you are used to having a colonic, if your do not comfortably take in enough water to initiate the cleansing process, I will provide a time of silence and stillness to help you relax, and then negotiate with you to allow a somewhat longer fill cycle.

A very few clients will find that they are unable to relax enough to release any waste through the drain tube. In these instances, the fill procedure is the same; but the speculum must be removed so the client can get up and go to the toilet to release their waste. This alternative process is not nearly as efficient because the equipment can only be inserted and removed a few times before the rectum becomes irritated; and because it is very time-consuming.. However, it still provides a more thorough cleanse than a home enema.

    Some clients, when they are especially toxic, experience mild cramping or nausea or headache during a colonic. When toxic substances in the colon are released, they mix with water and minute portions are absorbed into the blood stream before they have been completely removed from the body. The discomfort indicates there was a powerful need for a colonic at that time. The solution is additional colonic irrigation, which removes more waste, and therefore also removes the cause of the discomfort.

    On very rare occasions a person may experience severe cramping during a colonic. Colon spasms are caused by particularly toxic waste. When this happens, the colonic is stopped. Catnip tea is provided for the client to brew and take several times a day at home. A colonic a few days later is always more comfortable.

    Also on very rare occasions a client may eliminate a piece of waste that is too large in diameter to fit through the waste tube. When this happens, elimination will not progress as it should, and may leak out around the speculum. This is not a problem! You will be lying on a very absorbent pad, which can be changed. I always remind my patients that the entire room is easy to wash. I use only water proof materials on and around my colonic table! I will remove the clogged equipment and suggest that you complete expelling the enlarged waste on the toilet. Probably you and I will decide after that to return to the colonic irrigation process.

    10. How you may feel afterward: Most people feel energized and "clean inside" after a colonic, even if they experienced mild, brief discomfort during the colonic itself. Toxic reactions during a colonic, mild cramping, nausea, or headache, are also usually brief; but occasionally they do linger. Sometimes sitting on the toilet, or engaging in other activities, brings relief. Feel free to call me if this happens. They clearly indicate that another colonic is needed.

    11. How I make my machine safe for the next client: Between sessions with clients I sterilize my colonic machine and sanitize the colonic room and bathroom, and restock the room for my next client. Whomever you choose for your colonic therapist, be sure they do sterilize their machines after each client, even though the disposable equipment (or reusing your own equipment) is your primary line of protection from any possibility of acquiring an infection from other clients.